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Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Sultan's Fine Fabrics, where have you been all my life?

Last weekend, instead of doing my Christmas shopping, I went up to Sultan's Fine Fabrics to indulge myself with some fabric shopping.

Worth it!

They've got tonnes of gorgeous fabric, all natural fibers. I can't believe I've just found them now.

I bought:


A delicious wool jersey in an inky indigo colour. It's soft as silk and was pretty overpriced at nearly $60 a yard but I've been looking for good wool jersey for years. I'm usually pretty good about bargaining but I just can't haggle at a wholesale place if I'm buying a yard and a half.


Also delicious, this super 150 suiting caused such a stir when I got to the cash register. It was a remnant of about 2 1/5 yards for $25. "Do you know how much this sells for?" Sultan was so excited he totally interrupted his own conversation to make a big deal of what a good deal I was getting. Apparently it's usually priced at $125 a yard. However accurate that might or might not be, this fabric is sumptuous. I could eat it with a spoon.

Altogether, I spent $125.

Anyway, Sultans - I'll be back, but not too often, I'll bankrupt myself. They have tie silk!

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Mystery Stitch

My girl Kiren bought a skirt from a great second-hand shop that looks to have a lot of hand stitching. The story is that it was brought in for sale in the shop by a little old lady.

I noticed that there was an interesting stitch used to hold the hem.


Uh, yeah. The picture is upside down for some reason.

Does this stitch look familiar to you? See how it kind of doubles back on itself? But it's more complicated than a catch stitch.

I couldn't find it in any of my sewing books and a Google search mostly turns up decorative cross stitches and pictures of hands with sutured wounds. Yuck!

Help me out! Can you tell me what this stitch is called? How is it made?

Thanks!

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Look at my new dress!

I finished this dress a week ago and I've been trying to figure out how I can make this post interesting and not just me bragging about my new dress but...

Look at my new dress! It's completely self drafted! It's perfect! I'm a genius.

I'm so glad I took the time to start drafting this year. Even though it ended up really slowing down my sewing, I feel like the results are worth it! I have a much better understanding of the principals of fitting and the results are better than any commercial pattern I've used.

I've removed recaptcha from the comments (thanks to a tip from the lovely lady at The Perfect Nose, whose name I sadly do not know), so feel free to let me know how impressed you are.

I think I get most excited about my most basic garments.

This dress is the pretty much the best thing ever. I used the self drafted skirt pattern that I used for my last two skirts and a self drafted bodice that I started back in March but hadn't made into anything yet. I just added a boat neckline using this tutorial and stuck the two together and bada bing bada boom. 

Oh, and I used pleats instead of darts.





God, I love this dress! I can wear it to work or out to dinner and it's comfortable. Yay!

The black wool crepe and other materials totaled about $60. No way would I have been able to buy a dress this nice that fits this well for $60.


Friday, 8 November 2013

Kill your darlings

This is nothing new in the sewing blogosphere. My sewing skills have evolved to the point where I'm re-evaluating some of the first garments that I made.

Do you upgrade your staples as your skills improve? What should I do with these old skirts? It seems like a waste to throw them out but they're really, really not very well made. (Oh, my God, the zippers!)

These are the first two skirts that I made:


Wow, what is up with those front darts?


Yikes, what a mess!

At the time that I made these, I was so happy with them! Now I see how much better I can do, I'm retiring them. You may notice that the first two skirts that I've made with the self drafted pattern (below) are like upgrades of the old skirts: basic grey and a dark purplishmaroon. They're real wardrobe staples for me!



Also of note: In the last couple of months I've spent $70 on a houndstooth marino wool sweater, $70 on materials for my most recent skirt and $80 on a new bikini (I'm going to Hawaii!!!!)

Monday, 4 November 2013

Uptown Manhattan


2 ounces bourbon
1 ounce sweet vermouth
1 dash of Angostura bitters
Maraschino cherry for garnish

Combine first three ingredients with ice and stir until thoroughly chilled. Strain into cocktail glass and add a cherry.


Pegged silhouette
Interfaced hem
Back vent
Grosgrain waistband




What are your favorite techniques to make your skirts extra special?